Beauty Misadventure: The Fashion Night Out That Never Was.

I share this story with you because I care. Because we are friends and because you need to realize that when you are mortified by your own life, you aren't alone. Everyone has bad, embarrassing, annoying and odd days, although usually not all at the same time. 

This was mine.

I was recently in NYC and it was Fashion Night Out. My cousin decided to march it* into the city to hang with me. I had acquired an invite to hang out with some of my favorite brands at a Fashion Night Out mega party. The lovely Leslie Blodgett, Jennifer Hudson and others would be there and if I got lost in the mob, I even had a PR life raft to cling to. It seemed like a pretty solid plan. Or so I had thought.

Now, some of my savvy friends said to avoid FNO, as it required dressing like a Bravo reali-star and was essentially what unpolite ladies would call a "shitshow" of mobs and traffic. Warnings heard and ignored, my cousin Wormalita and I were going to head over to the broadcast and soak up the fashion. 

 (Clearly, they are not actually thanking me personally.)

But first, let me tell you how my day started. 

First thing in the morning,  I had met with one of my favorite PR contacts. The cab ride took me an hour to go two miles, causing me to arrive late. I had planned to arrive early, as to avoid letting down the team I work for at my day job. But a cab ride back also took about 45 minutes. Needless to say, I slunk into my edit session doing the work version of the walk of shame. It was only 11am and The day was not going well. I hunkered down into my edit, with the hopes that my co-workers would forget my tardiness.

(Evolution also sells taxidermied Marmosets for $1695.00, if you want one.) 

Hours later, and no longer cowering in my walk of shame funk,  I decided I wanted to make a shark tooth necklace. This means I am in need of a large sharks tooth. Lucky for me, a store that sells such a tooth is a few blocks down the street. Unusually encouraging, one of my co-workers pointed out that if I wore a sharks tooth necklace, I would likely be able to scare the very sharks I'm afraid of in the bathtub. So if wearing a sharks tooth necklace would tell other sharks I may encounter to move on and eat someone else in their bathtub, I'm totally into it. So with that logic, I marched it down the street to Evolution, the grossest store for animal lovers, ever. 

Once in the store, I grabbed my synthetic shark's tooth (I hope that a synth tooth will still let sharks know I'm not to be tangled with) and went back into the mob of people in Soho. 

 If you aren't familiar, Soho is a bit off of the grid, which means when you overpopulate the streets with cars and people and slow moving strollers, you are kinda screwed. It was impossible to walk, cars couldn't drive and bedlam was about 5 minutes from breaking out. It was then I noticed the super skinny hipster walking towards me, covering his mouth with a kerchief of sorts. I thought the following things, in rapid succession, as I continued walking towards the face-cloaked man:

  1. Was he Japanese?
  2. Was I on a movie set?
  3. Did that guy have a disease or was he protecting himself from me?

As I passed the skinny little face-covered hipster, I heard someone in the background say, "oh my god. WHAT IS THAT?" it was then that time slowed and things got real.

A smell hit me in the face, crashing with the force of a cow piddling on a flat rock. As I took another step, I noticed people pointing to a recently washed street. It was then I realized that New York had unleashed an actual bowel movement on the street. I quickly covered my mouth as the smell of human doody washed over me. No wonder that hipster was covering his face. I would have traded my LuckyFABB gift bag for a gas mask that second. I don't know how that much poop-smelling-air gets on the street, on one block. I don't know what caused a poopsplosion in Soho, but something did. It was big. And it was ugly.

(Not the sirens that were following me in Soho. These were sirens following me in Chelsea two weeks later as a result of a guy jacking a Hummer in the middle of the day.)

As I made me way through the stench near Prince Street, I regained the use of my other senses. I assumed they were momentarily heightened as my sense of smell had been stunned. THE SIRENS WERE SO LOUD AND ALL AROUND ME, it was almost unsettling, like something in a movie, right when you have to get a hold of yourself or give in to the zombies. I was barely able to think, the doody cloud draped across the sidewalk about a block behind me, and sirens were all I could process. Every time I stepped off of a curb, another fire truck/ambo/cop cruiser hurtled by. Everywhere. Including the sidewalk, at one point

Finally, I got back to my edit suite, where no one had made twosies in my face or was wailing like a banshee. It was peaceful, non-poop smelling and I was overjoyed. The sirens were still wailing, mind you, but were muted by the height of the penthouse address.

(His GPS worked as well as this new Apple map of Soho did on Funny or Die.)

We finally finished up and I got into my third cab of the day, where the driver used a GPS to get around. Turns out cabbie GPS receivers work as well as my own, dubbed Mabel, who often makes me circle blocks just to see if I will actually follow her lead. (I do.) GPS makes you a terrible real life navigator, who only realizes that you're circling a block incorrectly when Mabel politely calls you an arsemonkey by saying "recalculating" in a condescending tone.

 (This is my corner in Gramercy, which the phone kept auto-correcting to France, which made things seem fancy in text messages.)

My cousin Wormalita was meeting me in the lobby of my hotel in Gramercy. She didn't seem to have experienced any problems traversing the city. Sure, sirens wailed in the background, but she didn't really notice. We chatted,  and decided that my hotel room (the one that came with a bathroom, not the one the night before that  had to be upgraded to come with el bano) was adorable, but tiny. 

(This is the entire room that doesn't have a bathroom. There is also a door and slightly more to the desk. That's it. I'd guess it to be 12 by 6 feet.)

We then weighed the decision in front of us. Amazing fashion, potential super-swag, backstage access to live broadcasts with A-list celebs called to us through crowds and sirens,  and possibly blisters and more cabbies who use GPS.

We bailed.

It was then we decided a dinner outdoors (without salt or large soda glasses) would be a perfect evening way for us to catch up. But first, I needed to pick up the one thing I always forget: band-aids. As we started walking and chatting, I asked her if it was normal for there to be so many sirens, and she replied, "When you think about it, they are everywhere today, aren't they?" We were walking and chatting and giggling the way cousins who don't see each other enough tend to do.

(Wormy and I)

So then I said the magic words, "Can I tell you something ? Swear you promise not to tell anyone else?"

"What? I can't hear you. Wait for them to pass," Wormalita replied. 

After the sirens faded, I continued. "Pinky swear you won't judge me or make fun. I really need your help and it's embarrassing."

"Of course, Kel. Are you ok?", she yelled over the wailing of a cop car.

"I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger in LA last week in Venice. He's not tall. In fact, he and I are about the same height. In heels, I'm definitely taller."

"Um, that is probably public record** and not pinky swear stuff you know."

"Yeah, but here is the thing. I can't seem to stop obsessively eating lately. Its not good. I might need help. You see, the Terminator walked right next to my art director and I. I'm thicker than the Terminator. If you stood us back to back, I'M BIGGER THAN THE TERMINATOR." 

(Arnold dining with a business acquaintance. I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm fibbing.)

Wormalita looked into my eyes, with real concern and understanding. I've battled with my weight my entire life, and I usually end up losing. But this revelation, while humorous, is also really upsetting to me. I'm not constantly hungry. That isn't the problem. I make bad choices in high quantities before I realize what I'm doing, especially when I'm stressed out. I don't like to talk about it. It's hard for me to really talk about. I was feeling very vulnerable.

And it was then we heard laughing. The kind of laughing you hear when your older brothers have punked you in an awful way. Much to my dismay, my male coworkers had been right behind me, possibly the whole time.  

It's worth noting that while I was confessing I might have a binge eating issue that has resulted in me being larger than the Terminator, there were no sirens. Of course, I did what any self-deprecating person does; explain the situation so you control the information. Well, I explained at least part of the story. I introduced Wormalita to my two coworkers and asked them to confirm what I feared. While too polite to say it over the blare of the now returning sirens, they nodded that yes, Arnold was possibly shorter than me and that if shaped similarly, we might be close in size. Or something like that. I was too mortified to actually take in what they were saying. It could have been worse, I suppose. I could have been talking about IBS or something. But this seemed pretty bad by itself.

Needless to say, we dove into a CVS to get band-aids, I a bright shade of crimson and Wormalita consoling me that the whole thing that just happened wasn't that bad and that they probably didn't hear the whole conversation. I didn't feel any better about it. I could never eat craft service in front of them again without wondering if they were judging me. Ugh.

We picked a place to grab a salad, with outdoor seating. As soon as we sat down, we began chatting about life for at least 30 seconds before the sirens began again. We chewed in semi-silence, taking in the constant stream of fire trucks and ambulances. We didn't make it to the broadcast for FNO. We didn't even make it to Sephora to track down a Mad Men lipstick lookalike we had planned to hunt instead. It was a perfectly bizarre NYC day/night.  And finally, after approximately three weeks, my face has returned to its normal, non-crimson state.

Have you ever had a day that would just not stop embarrassing you? Tell me about it in the comments. Maybe it'll make one of us feel better.

* "March it" is apparently a common typo I make, which Loxy likes to laugh about. So I'm going to make the phrase happen in real life to show him how wrong it is to imitate me saying "march it", which makes me laugh so hard I sometimes tinkle. Please update your status' with "Marching it" somewhere in a show of solidarity.

** The public record of 6'2" is a straight lie.

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  1. Great narrative! You took me to NY w/ your story-writing, I can even smell that horrendous doodoo, I would have puked seeing/smelling that live. Remember Murphy's Law? I guess you had one of those. Truth is, nobody is spared from walk of shame. I had my fair share and I laugh about it now. And believe it or not, I had weight issues too in the past. But I conquered the odds. You will too!!!xo

  2. I have definitely had my share of embarrassing moments, day, weeks, etc. I won't go into detail but one such day DID involve IBS, the nearest bathroom which happened to be a Kohl's store and a change of underwear.

  3. Welcome to a typical night in NYC for Mere and I. It almost *never* goes the way we "plan" it.

  4. When you talk about it, it loses its power

  5. Nah. My co-workers are like my brothers. One of them is actually a really good friend of mine, but I wouldn't have shared that with them. I'm just chalking it up to having bad luck. At least the time I fell down and my not-permanantly-attached faux fall flew up and over my head, no one I worked with was around to see that. Just my wedding planner....

  6. Oh boy. I feel your pain. Your cow-workers are douches and should have acted like they didn't hear a damn thing or if they couldn't deny it they should have said that you in no way are bigger than The Terminator. That's what a gentleman would do. As for embarrassing moments. I have had my share. But thankfully I am great at compartmentalizing and shoving those horribly embarrassing moments into some compartment in my brain where I promptly forget about it. That is until I am feeling really great about myself and my brain releases one of those "lost" embarrassing memories just to keep me in check and remind me I'm a total loser.


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